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Essex tackles culvert replacement project



by Sylene Argent

Recently, the Town of Essex had a culvert replaced on the third concession, not far from the Arner Townline.

This particular piece of infrastructure was noticed as needing rehabilitation in a survey of the infrastructure completed last year.

The Town of Essex, Richard Beausoleil said, who is the Manager of Capital Works and Infrastructure, has an aggressive culvert replacement program.

The culvert replaced on the 3rd Concession, he noted, was around 6-meters by 3.6-meters.

From start to finish, the project was estimated to take around two weeks to complete.

This particular project was included as a line-item in Essex’s 2019 Capital Budget for around $600,000, Beausoleil noted.

A neat aspect to Essex’s culvert replacement program is that some of the materials do get recycled. He noted the guide-rails, formerly situated around the infrastructure, will be recycled as scrap steel. The culvert itself will be recycled as well, and so will the backfill around the former culvert, which was comprised of a Granular B mix of gravel and sand.

The sand, gravel, and asphalt will be stockpiled, then crushed and re-used in another future construction project, which he said will save the Town some money. It costs around $5 a tonne to crush the material to be re-used, and around $18 a tonne to get that material brought in.

The Town’s Public Works Department, he said, tries to crush these previously used materials once every two years, when there is a big enough pile, around 15-17,000 tonnes, to do so.

Culverts, Beausoleil said, are a case to guide natural water courses from one side of the road to another. It also creates a space for habitat to cross as well, such as snakes and fish. Guide-rails are added as a safety feature.

In a past culvert project, he said, there was a Barn Swallow habitat, which is a species at risk. The Town had to wait until fledglings had left the nest before starting work. Bird boxes were later placed in the culvert to aid the birds after construction was done.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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